I feel that the holidays grant people with a pass to eat home cooked meals in abundance along with a plethora of holiday treats – and honestly, that’s ok! Food brings people together and that is felt the most around the holiday season. But I know how challenging it can be to remain healthy during this time of year so I’m sharing two dinner sides that’ll be on my table so that I not only eat merrily with everyone else but feel at ease knowing that I’m keeping it fairly healthy.
I think it’s important to maintain a good balance between your meals. So if I know I’m going to eat a lot of calorie-heavy foods – I’ll balance it with a side of vegetables. So feel free to incorporate these delicious yet healthy sides onto your plate to balance out your meals too!
I love mashed potatoes but when I found out there was such thing as cauliflower mash I got so excited!
The reason I chose to make cauliflower mash instead of potato is that it’s low in calories, carbs and fat, as well as a great source of potassium. The consistency is very similar to potatoes and you can add all your favourite spices and seasonings to make it taste great! And of course, it wouldn’t be a complete dinner without leafy greens.
I decided to put together a raw kale salad that is massaged with olive oil and sprinkled with sunflower and hemp seeds, dried cranberries, and radish. Keeping the dressing to a minimum of olive oil, I found that the flavour was enhanced with the sweetness of the cranberries, but kept nutty with the sunflower seeds. Radish is always a good addition to salads because of it extra crunch and it makes the salad look more finished.
Ingredients for cauliflower mash:
1 medium-sized head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 tsp of garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
A garnish of parsley, diced
1 green onion stalk, chopped
Fill a large saucepan with about an inch of water. Bring the water to a boil, and add the cauliflower florets. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover, allowing the cauliflower to steam for 6-8 minutes, or until fork tender.
Drain the steamed cauliflower, and transfer to the bowl of a large food processor. Add the seasonings, and process to your desired texture.
Tip: If you own a Vitamix, blend under the lowest setting or pulse until all florets break apart. Add the chopped scallion once the mash is blended out.
Ingredients for kale salad:
1 bunch of kale, destemmed and broken into small pieces
1 tbsp of oil
2 tbsp of dried cranberries
1 tsp of hemp seeds
2 tbsps of sunflower seeds
½ cup of radish, thinly diced
Strip leaves from the stems (discard stems). Wash and dry the leaves. Tear the leaves into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over leaves and toss together with wooden spoon or hands to massage oil into the kale. Stop when the volume of greens is reduced by about half. The greens should look a little darker and slightly shiny.
Add cranberries, sunflower seeds, and radish to salad and mix together. Add sprinkled hemp seeds over salad once everything is mixed in.